FRISCO, Texas — Dallas left guard La’el Collins will be placed on injured reserve with a possible return late in the season because of a right toe injury, a person with knowledge of the injury said Monday.
Collins left late in the first half of Sunday night’s 31-17 win over Chicago with a toe injury. Speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the injury weren’t released, the person said Collins has a ligament injury on his right big toe.
Putting Collins on IR opens a roster spot for the Cowboys while giving Collins a chance to return to practice in six weeks and play in a game after eight weeks. He could return on Thanksgiving against Washington.
Dallas played the second half against the Bears without the starting left side of its line. Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith was inactive with a back injury. But Collins’ replacement is former starter Ron Leary, who lost his job to Collins last season.
Receiver Dez Bryant sprained his right knee on his first catch early against the Bears but returned and caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Coach Jason Garrett said there was no update on Bryant’s status.
If Bryant is out for any length of time, it will be the second straight year that he’s been sidelined. Last season, he broke his right foot in the opener, missed five games and wasn’t the same the rest of the season while he also battled ankle issues.
The Cowboys sat Bryant the last two games in 2015 because they were out of contention on their way to a 4-12 finish.
Bryant appeared to injure his right ankle when he was tackled awkwardly after the first-quarter catch against the Bears. He missed several plays while he was checked out on the sideline, and the knee injury was announced. He didn’t appear in the locker room when it was open to reporters after the game.
“He’s an incredibly tough individual,” Garrett said. “He’s mentally tough and he’s physically tough and he demonstrates that to us almost on a daily and a weekly basis. I think we saw that again last night, we saw it last year.”
Smith missed a game for just the second time in his six-year career, and second-year player Chaz Green made his first career start in Smith’s spot. Leary appeared in just four games last year after starting 31 of 32 games the previous two seasons.
The Cowboys rushed for a season-high 199 yards, including the first 100-yard game for rookie fourth-overall pick Ezekiel Elliott (140 yards on 30 carries). Dallas has seven rushing touchdowns after finishing with eight last season.
“I thought in general our offensive line played particularly well,” Garrett said. “(Collins) goes down the first half, Ron Leary comes in, so you got two guys having to play and working on the left-hand side. Those guys were prepared for their opportunity and they handled it well.”
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